Review: The Lies We Live by Morgan Taylor Giesbrecht

The Lies We Live by Morgan Taylor Giesbrecht

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Okay – espionage, medicine, and Great Britain? You’ve got me on board already. This debut was beautifully done, filled with intricate plots, lovely settings, and so much history!

Characters: Let’s just be upfront here. Thomas Lindsey got everything I’ve ever wanted in a character going for him. Doctor? Check. Spy? Check. British? Check. And then the guy goes and has to have dark, curly hair just to round out the perfect character for my very shallow self. But honestly, I loved this combination of traits/trades – I don’t think I’ve ever read about someone like him! (And did I mention he even had several guns and several holsters? Anyway …) Thomas definitely had that signature unhappy British guy mood, but as the book went on, he opened up more and more. As for Clara … what a good quarry for Thomas! She stood right up to him and ended up serving beside him beautifully. She was extremely strong, but not in the brash sort of way some characters are. Instead, she was steady and resourceful and brave in so many ways. And then the wonderful side characters – too many to go into, but two of them in particular made me quite sad. There’s an entire cast of interesting side characters – both within the MI5 circle and outside. Although I enjoyed all of the characters, I kept finding myself wanting more – there were times when I felt like I was just starting to get to know them, and then the scene would end. I really hope the next book in the series digs even more deeply into the characters.

Setting/Writing Style/Plot: The setting was gorgeous – I never really thought about people living so close to war-torn France in England, and it was just such a chilling description when a character would stand near the ocean and hear the guns roaring in France. I loved the small-town feel of Newhaven as well! As for the writing style … it’s very historical and fast-paced in its own way. Lots of time skips happen throughout the book (not huge, but hours or a day in a sentence). Although the writing took a bit for me to get used to, it works in this book, and this author has a lovely, distinct style! As for the plot … wow. My mind was spinning, and I am so amazed at this author’s ingenuity and brilliance. I honestly got a bit confused in some spots, but the overall intricacy of the plot was fitting for this espionage novel. So well done!

Theme: A lot of themes wove through this book; most prominently the difference between the lies we live (yep, you saw that), and the truth that actually exists. Clara’s faith was commendable -she’d been through so much – and watching Thomas’s arc was sweet. I would’ve like a bit more clarity on him – was he saved before the book? during? – but overall, a very clean book with Christian themes woven through it.

So if you’re a fan of WWI, espionage, or medicine … you’ve got to read this book. I’m impatiently awaiting book #2! And by the way, I think this book would make a brilliant TV series. Just saying. 🙂

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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